Published on March 12th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


New Event Venue, Central Energy, Opens in Columbia’s BullStreet District

Renovated Downtown Space Features Modern Design, Flexible Floor Plan, with Courtyard and Lawn

COLUMBIA, SC.— Central Energy, downtown Columbia, S.C.’s most vibrant new gathering space, is now open, featuring one of the largest indoor/outdoor event spaces in the city. Located in the BullStreet District, Central Energy offers more than 8,000 square feet of flexible, modern event rental space, as well as a 2,700 square-foot courtyard and vast green space. View images and details at

As Columbia, S.C., grows and becomes more prosperous, there is an increasing demand for sizable event venues with the flexibility to host large-scale events as well as smaller, more intimate gatherings. With the capacity for 500-900 guests, as well as the ability to size down for events with 150-200 attendees, Central Energy can accommodate a wide range of special events, from weddings to corporate conferences to fundraising galas. The venue, which is also home to Downtown Church’s weekly services, is intended to be a community hub with thoughtful design for connection and celebration.

The venue has the capacity for more than 900 guests for standing-room only events, 600-700 guests for cocktail events and 500 guests for seated banquets, with multiple breakout rooms.

Formerly the central power plant for the former S.C. State Hospital, the Central Energy building has been carefully reimagined by Garvin Design Group and Hammer Construction. Original architecture and industrial accents give the space ambiance, while the open floor plan allows easy configuration for occasions of all sizes. Industrial bay doors roll open to the outdoor courtyard, and the venue’s stage—part indoor, part outdoor, connected by tall, wooden barn doors and a massive set of sliding glass doors—can open to the lawn if desired to allow seamless flow during events.

“When we drew plans for Central Energy, we were envisioning weddings with twinkle lights strung over the courtyard, concerts on the lawn where families could let little ones play—really, there’s so much potential with this amazing space,” says Dawn Hyde, pastor of Downtown Church, which owns the building.

Downtown Church has partnered with Crawford Pressley, owner of catering businesses Loosh Culinaire and Central Table, to manage the space and provide in-house catering at Central Energy. Pressley collaborates with executive chef Blake Faries (celebrated in the Midlands food scene for his prior work at Saluda’s, Sea & Salt and Tallulah) to provide the freshest, highest quality food at all budgetary levels, whether it’s a barbeque or a masterful pairing of refined plates and exquisite wines from around the world.

“We are thrilled to introduce this event space to the city. The Central Energy building has so much rich history as a former central power plant, and we can’t wait to watch the building come alive in a new way with celebrations, weddings, galas, and more in the years to come,” says Pressley.

The venue hosted its grand opening on March 7, 2019. The event was designed by premier event planner and designer, Melanie Murphy of By Invitation Only, with unique event furnishings by Party Reflections. Radiant floral arrangements by John Gray Events painted the room. Hors d’oeuvres were provided by in-house caterer Loosh Culinaire, and full bars, a whiskey bar, a champagne bar, and a hard ice cream bar were provided by Twist Bartending and Aleph Wines. 72 Coffee Co. was on site as well, serving specialty coffee drinks from its distinctive camper bar. Meanwhile, Southern Valet & Transportation provided complimentary valet parking service. Lighting and sound was provided by Forte Productions.

Central Energy is currently available for event bookings. To learn more or schedule a tour, visit or contact Caroline Glenn at (803) 760-7505 or

About Central Energy

Central Energy is Columbia, S.C.’s most vibrant and versatile downtown event space, designed to make gatherings feel warm and welcoming. Located in the exciting BullStreet District of downtown Columbia, the venue features more than 8,000 square feet of flexible rental space, as well some of the city’s largest indoor/outdoor social areas. The building, formerly a central power plant, has been carefully renovated to preserve original character and charm. Industrial accents add ambiance, while large bay doors roll open to a modern, 2,700 s.f. courtyard, and the stage can open onto the lawn. Central Energy is ideal for a wide range of occasions, including wedding receptions, corporate meetings, fundraising galas, bar and bat mitzvahs, rehearsal dinners and reunions, and more. In-house catering is provided by Crawford Pressley’s Loosh Culinaire and Central Table catering companies. Capacity ranges from 900+ for standing-room only events, 600-700 for cocktail events and 500 for seated banquets. Follow @centralenergyevents on Instagram, visit, and contact events manager Caroline Glenn to schedule a visit:, (803) 760-7505.

DOWNTOWN CHURCH started in 2011 around a dinner table with three families looking to do church in a different way. Since then it has grown to become an official member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2014. Constantly curious about how to approach church differently, DOWNTOWN CHURCH envisioned a permanent home in the former central energy facility in the BullStreet District. With the expertise of Garvin Design Group and Hammer Construction, DOWNTOWN CHURCH created Central Energy, a modern, expansive special event venue that is used beyond the church’s own purposes. The vision of DOWNTOWN CHURCH is for the building to never sit empty and live up to the energetic buzz of the building’s former history. DOWNTOWN CHURCH moved into Central Energy in December 2018 after an extensive renovation of the building. Learn more
about the church at

About the BullStreet District

Known as the largest urban redevelopment project on the East Coast, the BullStreet District is an active transformation of the historic, 181-acre South Carolina State Hospital campus into a vibrant, mixed-use lifestyle district that reflects the authenticity of downtown Columbia, S.C. The state’s first urban gigabit community, BullStreet is a city-within-a-city, located one mile from the S.C. State House and anchored by the award-winning stadium, Segra Park (f.k.a. Spirit Communications Park), home of the Columbia Fireflies Minor League Baseball team. Well into a 20-year buildout that started in January 2015, the district already is home to an array of local and national businesses, including global tech giant Capgemini, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Founders Federal Credit Union and Ogletree Deakins law firm in the First Base Building; SOCO, COLAToday and tech/creative startups in the historic Bakery; Bone-In Barbeque restaurant in the historic Ensor Building; the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Parker Annex Archaeology Center; the sleek, modern Central Energy event venue; and the new TownPark at BullStreet townhomes. Soon, the Merrill Gardens active senior community will open across the street from a new 20-acre public park, with a 2-acre pond, trails, dog park, restored creek and more. BullStreet contains 125,000+ square feet of commercial/office and retail space and is zoned for up to 3.3 million square feet of commercial use and 3,558 residential units. Follow @BullStreetSC and #BullStreetSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and learn more at 

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